1st Edition

Impeachment in a Global Context Law, Politics, and Comparative Practice

Edited By Chris Monaghan, Matthew Flinders, Aziz Z. Huq Copyright 2024
    364 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume considers the use of impeachment within a global context. The book brings together leading scholars and experts to give an insight into significant periods in the development of impeachment and its modern comparative use. Divided into five parts, the opening chapter introduces the topic and underlines its significance in terms of understanding the relationship and inter-dependence among politics, governance and the law. It also offers a novel conceptual framework that facilitates the global mapping of impeachment processes. Part I presents a thematic approach that explores the topic of impeachment through the lenses of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. With these themes in mind, Part II focuses on those parts of the world where impeachment is generally recognised as a core constitutional process including the United States, South Korea, Brazil and other countries in South America. Part III continues with the process of constitutional mapping by moving to a focus on those countries where impeachment is arguably an important but largely secondary or peripheral process. This includes chapters on Denmark, Iceland, Sri Lanka and the Philippines and flows through into Part IV’s focus on areas of the world where impeachment matters and may even be increasing in terms of visibility but, for a number of reasons, arguably exists within a satellite status in terms of constitutional processes and safeguards. The fifth and final section steps back in an attempt to assess impeachment processes from a broad comparative perspective. The collection presents the definitive text on impeachment for students and scholars with an interest in comparative public law, politics and constitutional studies.

    Biographies of Contributors



    1 Understanding Impeachment: An Exercise in Comparative Cartography, CHRIS MONAGHAN, AZIZ Z. HUQ AND MATTHEW FLINDERS

    PART I: Foundations

    2 Impeachment as Cause or Cure of Human Rights Violations, GERALD L NEUMAN

    3 Impeachment and Democracy: Does Impeachment Have an Effect on Democracy in Third Wave Presidentialism? YOUNG HUN KIM

    4 Impeachment and the Rule of Law: It’s Complicated, JOHN OHNESORGE

    PART II: Core

    5 The Role of the Judiciary in the Presidential Impeachment Process in Korea, YOUNGJAE LEE

    6 Latin America: Between Governability Crises and the Impeachment Trap, JOHN POLGA-HECIMOVICH

    7 Contemporary Impeachment in Brazil: Political Time and Aporias, CARINA BARBOSA GOUVEA AND PEDRO H. VILLAS BOAS CASTELO BRANCO

    8 Impeachment in the United States, FRANK O. BOWMAN, III

    PART III: Periphery

    9 Impeachment in Iceland, RAGNHILDUR HELGADOTTIR

    10 Impeachment in Denmark: Law and Practice, HENRIK SKOVGAARD-PETERSEN

    11 The Impeachment of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake, GEOFFREY ROBERTSON KC

    12 Impeachment in the Philippines: Politics, Institutions and Leadership, IMELDA DEINLA AND MARIA LULU REYES

    PART IV: Satellite

    13 Impeachment in Central and Eastern Europe, PHILIPP KOKER

    14 Impeachment in Nigeria: Process, Practice and Failure, OMOLOLU FAGBADEBO

    15 The Politics of Impeachment in Pakistan’s Hybrid Democracy, YASSER KURESHI

    16 The United Kingdom and Impeachment: Justification, Renewal, and the House of Commons as a Guardian of the Constitution, CHRIS MONAGHAN

    PART V: Futures

    17 Impeachment in Comparative Perspective: An Empirical View, TOM GINSBURG, AZIZ Z. HUQ AND DAVID LANDAU


    Chris Monaghan is Principal Lecturer in Law at the University of Worcester.

    Matthew Flinders is Professor of Politics and Founding Director of the Sir Bernard Crick Centre at the University of Sheffield.

    Aziz Z. Huq is the Frank and Bernice Greenberg Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School.

    ‘A book for our troubled times. Monaghan, Huq, and Flinders have convened an exceptional cast of contributors to illuminate the uses and abuses of impeachment in a comparative context. From Africa to the Americas and from Asia to Europe, this outstanding volume draws from doctrine, history, and theory to highlight understudied problems and questions through riveting case studies that expose the many functions of impeachment as a check on executive power, as a device for accountability, and as a weapon for retribution in constitutional politics. “Impeachment in a Global Context” is a home run study of impeachment around the world.’

    Richard Albert, Professor of World Constitutions, The University of Texas at Austin

    ‘Whether it is a judge, minister, or chief executive in removal proceedings, impeachment brings with it thorny legal questions and often intense political ramifications. Impeachment in a Global Context acknowledges and engages these difficulties by providing deeply contextualized accounts of impeachment within individual countries, set within a broader framing of comparative analysis and theoretical insight. From those systems in which impeachment is core to constitutional governance to countries where it is only newly emerging as a tool, the book’s breadth is a boon for scholars and practitioners interested in constitutional design. And the book’s empirical focus on how impeachment actually functions sheds important light on its normative desirability. In short, this deftly constructed volume will serve as an essential resource on impeachment long into the future.’

    Erin F. Delaney, Professor of Law, Northwestern University

    ‘Impeachment looms large in the current US political imaginary. It also shapes democratic politics across presidential systems worldwide: it has been deployed on almost every continent in the last decade, in ways that served both to bolster and undermine commitments to democracy and rule of law. In this important new volume, Monaghan, Huq, and Flinders bring together a star-studded list of contributors to survey these trends, their underpinnings, and significance for our understanding of democratic constitutional design and practice.’

    Rosalind Dixon, Professor of Law, University of New South Wales

    ‘Impeachment remains a central institution to constrain executive power, but it is often abused. This rich volume transcends the conventional study of impeachment proceedings in presidential regimes to show their role in semipresidential and parliamentary systems across the world. The contributors address the impact of impeachment on democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.’

    Aníbal Pérez-Liñán, Professor of Political Science and Global Affairs, University of Notre Dame